5 ways to manage your money during COVID-19
18 October 2020
Thinking about your finances can be daunting at the best of times. With COVID-19 leading to lost jobs and a volatile economy, it seems almost impossible. But checking in on the health of your home loan or insurance policy could help you save a little money, making it easier to deal with uncertainty.
Here are some ways to help improve your financial resiliency.
1. Consider refinancing your home loan
Want to consolidate your debt? Or maybe your fixed-term loan period is ending and you’re looking for a better deal? Whatever your motivation, refinancing your home loan — that is, taking out a new home loan to repay your existing one — could help you save.
Before you commit, you should take into account any fees or charges to pay out your existing loan so you can be confident a refinance will save you money. A Suncorp Bank home lending specialist can help answer your questions.
2. Stick to a budget you can afford
No matter your income, you may find it difficult to get ahead if you spend more than you earn. Budgeting for regular fixed expenses, like groceries, utilities and petrol, can help keep you from spending more than you should. If you’re not sure how to set up a budget, try Suncorp’s Budget Planner. Depending on when you’re paid, you may decide on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly budget.
Got a budget sorted? Now might be the time to consider what small luxuries you want to keep and what you can live without. Remember, the more you cut, the longer you can make your savings last.
3. Make extra savings work for you
If you’re spending less and saving more, consider making your money work harder. Here are are few things to think about:
- If you have a mortgage, keeping your savings in an offset account won’t reduce your monthly home loan repayment, but it will reduce the amount of interest you pay each month. This means more of what you pay can go towards reducing the principal balance.
- Got extra cash in a bank account? Consider storing your money in a high interest savings account. While you won’t make a fortune this way, earning something extra is better than earning little to no interest.
- Set up an emergency fund. It can be handy to have money set aside to cover urgent or unexpected costs such as car repairs, emergency travel or an unplanned medical bill.
- Get debt under control. Now might be the time to pay off credit card debt. Or, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by your financial obligations, consider consolidating your debts — that is, rolling several debts into one.
4. Look for better deals
Reviewing your budget helps you identify big expenses where you may be able to get a better deal. You may be able to lower the cost of your electricity and gas bills, either by asking your provider about different plans or switching to a different provider. The Australian Government website, Energy Made Easy can help you compare offers. If you need immediate help, check with your service provider on what financial hardship support is available.
5. Get financial support
The Government is providing COVID-19 financial assistance to eligible Australians to support them through the economic impact of the coronavirus. Learn about Commonwealth Government support for individuals and households.
At Suncorp Bank, we’re here to help you. If you’re a lending customer impacted by COVID-19, we have financial assistance options that could help make things more manageable.
- How to build an emergency fund
- How to set up a personal budget plan
- How to reduce your food and grocery bill
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Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs. You should make your own enquiries, consider whether advice is appropriate for you and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Product Information Document before making any decisions about whether to acquire a product.